NEW YORK, Sept 26 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan has warned that it was too risky to allow tensions to escalate between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan, saying he would urge the United Nations to step in.
Noting what he said was the world’s indifference to civilian suffering in Kashmir, he condemned India’s military clampdown there and said he would appeal to the United Nations (UN) for help.
“They do not understand that this can go horribly wrong,” the Pakistani leader said at a meeting with editors of The New York Times, according to a report in the newspaper.
In August, the Indian government revoked the longstanding autonomy of the disputed border region and arrested thousands of Kashmiris. It cut off phone and internet service to millions of people and imposed a curfew, now in its 51st day, raising tensions between India and Pakistan.
Khan said he would ask the United Nations to intervene when he addressed the General Assembly on Friday.
“This is the U.N.’s job,” he said, adding, “They have to intervene, send observers there.”
Over the past two months, Indian forces have rounded up at least 2,000 Kashmiris, including elected representatives, the Times quoted local officials as saying.
PM Khan said India was behaving irrationally — and against its own longer-term interests. `Arrogance’, he said, “stops people from being rational.”
“If the U.N. doesn’t speak about it, who is going to speak about it?” he said.
In this connection, The New York Times quoted Laurel Miller, director of the Asia Programme at the International Crisis Group, as saying, “I can’t imagine India agreeing to it, and the U.N. isn’t going to intervene over India’s objections.”
Ms. Miller, like PM Khan, said some nations might be reluctant to press the issue because they don’t want to jeopardize their relationship with India, a major economic market. That could change, she said, if widespread violence breaks out in Kashmir. PM Khan said he feared that was exactly what would happen.
“This is very dangerous,” he said, “because people don’t realize where it’s headed. It’s going to be a massacre, the moment they lift the curfew.”
The Pakistani leader said he was not optimistic that he would accomplish anything in his speech to the United Nations, at least not in the near term.
“But at least the world will be aware,” he said. “Because I fear an impending genocide.”